Big Sur, CA – 02.26.15
Big Sur will never get old. It was the first real vacation that Dan and I (Toni) ever took together a few years back. I think that’s why it holds such a big part of my heart. We were overwhelmingly happy on that trip. We couldn’t believe a place like Big Sur existed in our own country. The feeling did not falter this time around. Driving down that coast makes me feel like I’m in a movie every dang time. It’s the perfect combination of everything beautiful that this world has to offer. Mountains, ocean, trees, weird landscape, perfect weather, genuine people.
We stayed at Fernwood RV Resort and parked under the redwoods next to a river. I woke up every morning thinking it was raining but always smiled when I realized it was just the river. Matt and Sarah were just a few campsites down from us. They had never been to Big Sur before. We couldn’t wait for them to experience it.
We spent our two weeks hanging by the river, lounging at the beach, watching Matt catch waves, going on hikes, grilling almost every meal, and taking in all that Big Sur has to offer. We ditched our rigs for a night and packed up our tents, sleeping bags, and all the dry goods we could find in our cabinets. We set up at Andrew Molera State Park in a lush green meadow with far too many groundhogs. We read our books, listened to music, drank some whiskey, ate lots of food to cure our boredom, and slept on yoga mats that did not make the ground feel any better. Rookie mistake. Next time: bring an air mattress. Our backs were sore the next day after hiking in with far too much stuff and sleeping on the ground, but we all had a blast. It was fun to ditch our houses and rough it for the night. We finally got to put our new camping set to use…we’d had it for three months!
We all volunteered at the Esalen Institute for two days and loved every bit of it. Esalen is essentially a retreat for people who want to free their mind and de-stress. Our way into that awesomeness was through volunteering. We worked 7AM-1PM in the farm and garden in exchange for an efternoon and evening utilizing everything they had to offer. The work days at Esalen were interesting, everyone’s mindset was so relaxed and at peace and after running through a full day, we understood why. Morning meeting, meditation, work for a few hours, eat breakfast, group check-in, work for a few more hours, eat lunch, done with work. The first day we picked lettuce, chard, kale, arugula, anything that was in season before breakfast. After breakfast, we washed everything we picked in 3 stage washing sinks. The second day, we cleared beds of weeds that were going to be used for a new harvest. After lunch, Matt and Sarah continued to do the dirty work while we moved onto washing. Back to the 3 stage sinks for us. Sorry, guys! We were fed all 3 meals of the day while at Esalen and a good amount of the veggies were things we collected and washed! We loved that. After lunch, we were free to explore their beautiful grounds. We did yoga on the grass, lounged in the hot springs, conversed with the visitors and workers, danced in a late night tribal workshop, and ate lots of gluten free toast. Volunteering at Esalen is definitely one of the strongest memories from the trip so far. What a crazy place. We keep talking about parking the Toaster there after the trip. We’ll clean some lettuce in exchange for a place to park!
Please take our word about Big Sur. We’re not exaggerating.
Go there this summer!